During a performance at the Semper Opera in Dresden, several spectators turned on the clock of pocket watches repeatedly, and the king was very angry. Anyone who has experienced it will understand how the king feels, and the weakest part of the music is disturbingly disturbed by the telephone ringing. To stop this harassment, King Saxony’s Frederick August II ordered architect Gottfried Semper to make a stage clock for the new opera house, and asked the new clock to be ‘different from ordinary analog clocks.’
In 1841, the watchmaker and court watchmaker, John Cristian Ferritsi Gutkes, took on this difficult task. The biggest challenge of this task is to design a clock that can clearly read the time in all auditorium seats, even in the dark. Since the clock needs to be suspended in a space only two meters high on the front arch, a circular clock dial is not feasible. For this reason Gut Case made a wonderful plan, hoping to design a digital display clock. The clock has two 1.6 meters diameter reversing rollers, and the time is displayed in the double windows above the stage. The hours are displayed in Roman numerals on the left and the minutes are displayed in Arabic numerals every 5 minutes on the right.
Five-minute digital clock prototype of the Semper Opera House
1841 was also the year Ferdinando Adolf Lange returned from a tour of the European precision watchmaking town. He became a watchmaking apprentice at Gut Case at the age of 15 and then went to Paris, where he began his journey to England and Switzerland 4 years later. Full of innovative ideas, Lange returned to Gutkes’s workshop again, and also contributed a lot to the design of the five-minute digital clock. This special digital clock still has a great influence on Lange’s movement engineers. After 1990, the engineers organized their thoughts, first creating the iconic big calendar of LANGE 1, inheriting the name of historical model; then the brand put the word jump time display on the mechanical watch and created LANGE ZEITWERK.
The model illustrates how the rollers work in the opposite direction
Due to the size limitation of the watch movement, the engineer decided to set the digital time display in two adjacent windows to create more space for the large-sized digital dial. The German Silver Time Bridge constitutes the framework for all time display, and their dream finally comes true with this groundbreaking design element. Unprecedented display amplitude can accurately report time. The minute wheel splint is on the top level, and above the hour circle, the three dials advance simultaneously. The clockwork of the new bearing system provides the watch with the energy required to rotate the dial. The constant-power escapement, mounted between the barrel gear and the balance wheel, is unrivalled in its simplicity and simplicity, and acts as a pacemaker for the watch.
Constant power escapement powers the rotation of the digital disc
LANGE ZEITWERK is not only an important milestone attributed to the Lange master watchmaker, but also a prototype of numerous award-winning design examples, including the Grand Prix of Fine Watches in Geneva.
LANGE ZEITWERK: the face of the new era